3 Things You Shouldn’t Do In a Gun Store

Gun store (courtesy thefederalistpapers.org)

Our friends at thefirearmsblog.com recently ran a great post: 10 Things NOT to do in a Gun Store.  Written from the perspective of a gun store owner, author Adam Scepaniak counsels against turning a gun sideways (gangsta style) and inciting “fear and panic into others because an apocalypse or armagedon or zombies or sharknado is ‘definitely, totally gonna like happen really, totally soon.'” OK then. Meanwhile, here are three things you shouldn’t do in a gun store from a more customer-o-centric point-of-view . . .

1. Put up with lousy service

More than a few gun stores have treated me like the Invisible Man; they were too busy schmoozing right-wing politics with longtime customers to acknowledge my presence, answer my questions and take my money. By the same token, I’ve had to go on an extended salesmen hunt in big box stores. If you’re treated like a second-class citizen at a gun store, if they don’t make you feel welcome, leave.

2. Debate the salesman about your choice

The old adage “the customer is always right” is right. If a salesman doesn’t approve of your choice, it’s up to them to gently recommend a better alternative. If they’re coming at you hard, tell them to back off. “Thanks for your input but I’m really interested in this gun.” At the same time, keep in mind that what’s in the back room goes out the front door. Gun stores don’t want to sell you what they don’t have. Equally, manufacturers offer gun stores incentives to sell particular products. They may be pushing a gun that helps them more than it helps you.

3. Pay full retail without asking for a discount

You’d be amazed at how often gun stores — even big box retailers — will respond to a simple request: “Can it be any cheaper?” If your negotiating skills are up to it, ask the store if they’ll lower the price if you buy ammo, a holster or other accessories. Be sure to check other gun stores’ prices before you enter or on your phone — remembering that there’s a transfer fee for internet providers and that supporting a friendly, knowledgeable local gun store is worth a financial premium. Still, why pay more than you have to?

comments

  1. avatar rc says:

    Basically, 3 rules for buying anything retail anywhere.

    1. avatar Coltman says:

      Rule 0.5: do research so you know when the salesman is lying.

      1. avatar Casey says:

        Agreed wholeheartedly with this one. A local gun store(term used loosely) lost all my business when one of there sales people started blatantly lying to a customer. Then came to find out that they then sold incorrect ammunition to a new buyer. Knowledge is power.

      2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        I’d roll that into not paying full price. Negotiation is all about having information and options (plus some gumption, too, but that can’t really be taught).

      3. avatar Wood says:

        I’ve never bought a gun where I didn’t know as much or more than the salesman. Sometimes much more. Beware looking at old model Ruger single action revolvers when the guy behind the counter is a fool. I was looking at a nice little .22mag single six, and the tool behind the counter was working the action incompletely and jammed ‘er up good. Then acted like it was my fault. Sheesh.

  2. avatar CTstooge says:

    Don’t sweep other customers with your muzzle while you’re pulling lead on that imaginary pheasant or home intruder. That bugs the shit out of me.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      At Cabelas, I like to ‘hunt’ the animals hanging all over the store. I can get a feel for how the gun points, and I’m not pointing it at anything I wouldn’t want to shoot.

      That said, I can’t remember a time the salesman didn’t safety check the firearm in front of me before handing it to me. And I safety check every firearm I pick up before I do anything else, so it’s reasonably safe to get lasered in a gun store. Annoying, but probably less dangerous than walking accross the street.

      1. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

        It’s not “reasonable” for me to have to put up with being lazered anywhere or anytime, “unloaded” gun or not.

      2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        “Reasonably safe” isn’t safe enough. Go home and learn the four rules.

      3. avatar DaveL says:

        I’m sure you’ve checked it. I’m sure the clerk has checked it. The thing is, it isn’t pointing at you or at the clerk. It’s pointing at me, and I didn’t check it.

        1. avatar JSJ says:

          Damned right. When that happens I leave the store pronto. I’ll return when the idiots are finished shopping. Maybe.

      4. avatar Ironhorse says:

        People get shot with unloaded guns all the time. I’d rather not die in the middle of Cabela’s.

  3. avatar JAlan says:

    The one thing I’m guilty of is never asking for a discount. I don’t know why, but it feels kind of wrong for me to do that. I do shop around online, though, so I know that when I buy something at my LGS, it is the cheapest or most convenient way to get it.

    1. avatar James in AZ says:

      Businessses never feel ashamed to make a profit, which is you hard earned cash out of your pocket. So dont be ashamed to defend it. As long as they are willing to sell, they are making a profit, either immediate or long-term.

      1. avatar JAlan says:

        It feels like I fit a stereotype too much. You are logically correct, of course, but I haven’t made that leap yet.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Try it. Especially if it’s a used firearm.
          If they have a price of $399.00, I’ll ask if they’ll take $350.00.
          If they counter with 375? I still got it cheaper.

        2. avatar sagebrushracer says:

          I worked computer repair for a while with a local store. Our supplier rarely beat the amazon price and everything was marked up 100%. Truth is I don’t like to haggle either, so I research, find what the going prices are and deal with huge markups by not buying. With firearms this is harder because a FFL has to be involved. If the LGS has horrid prices, I gunbroker it and use my favorite “kitchen table” FFL.

          Only ran into this problem once tho, our LGS is pretty good, and thats why they are still in business.

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      I usually try to negotiate they pay the sales tax. On occasion if they offer range time free with the gun I ask for extra. It does not hurt, and actually makes you feel more comfortable coming back for future firearms.

      1. avatar Hello World says:

        “I usually try to negotiate they pay the sales tax.”

        You always pay the F*&*^ng sales tax. Such a stupid request. Take 10% off the retail, add the sales tax back in; you just didn’t pay sales tax on $500, just on $485.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          That’s what he meant…try not to be quite to literal.

          Which is cheaper out-of-pocket? $500+10%, or $485+10%?

          That’s what he was getting at…getting a “discount” without calling it that per se.

        2. avatar BillC says:

          OMG, you are so smart and tough. You make me moist.

        3. avatar PsyGuy says:

          JR_in_NC says: “That’s what he meant…try not to be quite to literal.”

          What? someone on TTAG being literal? No way! That NEVER happens here. *chuckle*

          I would say that it happens on nearly every thread….

          But some LITERAL person will come along and argue that there is no one I know that unless I’ve kept some form of spreadsheet and documented every time it happened.

          So, instead I will say – it sure SEEMS to happen a lot around TTAG 😉

          Outside of that (and to the literals) maybe its a time/space vortex/alternate universe bleed over – let them disprove THAT 😉

        4. avatar peirsonb says:

          it sure SEEMS to happen a lot around TTAG

          New to the internet, I see…

        5. avatar PsyGuy says:

          Yep! Just got it yesterday. How did you know? 😉

          (And there’s a handful of smart aleck’s running around too apparently)

    3. avatar Katy says:

      The only time I feel strange about it is when I’ve asked for blue label pricing (or the analogue). Asking for FD discounts is a no-no, but if I know it is there…

      1. avatar Tile floor says:

        Eh it’s why it’s there is for you to use. My LGS has the LE/MIL (which also includes FD) guns separately stored and marked you can you point to it and ask to see it specifically.

    4. avatar bryan1980 says:

      I know where you’re coming from, I’m not sure why I’ve never counter-offered on a firearm before. I should look at them like cars; if they accept my price, they must still be making a profit that they’re comfortable with.

  4. avatar TroyBilt says:

    Never unholster your EDC. If you need to see how it will fit in a holster get the one behind the counter that is not loaded.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      This. Number one rule: do not, under any circumstances, unholster your carried firearm, for any reason other than its intended purpose (to stop a threat).

    2. avatar Binder says:

      If you want to check holsters bring in the firearm in a soft case, unloaded. Have the guy at the counter clear it and then proceed. The only time I ever did anything different was coming in from the range I had a loaded CZ clone in the bag, and had the guy clear it. I will never do that again. He keep it in a safe direction, but boy was he struggling with the slide.

    3. avatar Stephen Mercer says:

      Do ya’ll sit around all day and think how you can possibly overthink the smallest human interactions? When I decide to look for a new firearm at my LGS, I don’t carry inside, so I can test my favorite holster, my favorite carry positions, etc. I want to know what the new gun will feel like. If you can’t honestly set aside your EDC for five minutes to do so, I sincerely think we have a lot more to worry about than gun rights.

  5. avatar Mudshark says:

    Yes good advice. Had one gunshop that had a basement firing range, sadly the owner passed on and no longer, the new proprieter closed the basement

  6. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Well I buy and sell for a living. I’m always looking for the best deal. Funny a commenter mentioned Cabelas. I’ve gotten some used gun deals in their Gun library. They check how long it’s been around and you can mess with ’em. Learn to haggle. They would never budge on new retail.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Yup. And learn their price coding.

      Any used gun (eg, in the library) at Cabela’s that is at the full marked price ends with $.99.

      The first price cut is to $abc.88, then on down to $abc.66 – and that’s supposedly as low as they’re going to go.

      I look at the Library every so often to spot older, nice for formerly nice guns that I’d like to own. One of my go-to sources for older double guns and O/U’s.

  7. avatar FreakinPeanuts says:

    On new guns, I don’t usually haggle on prices if they are close to fair market value on new guns. The profit margins are usually a measly 10% …..but now a used gun, that’s a different story. Dealers usually have some room to dicker on the price. When it comes down to it it’s “How bad and how soon do I want it?”

  8. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    4. Don’t play Stairway to Heaven

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Haha. Signs everywhere in the local guitar center store. “No Stairway”

  9. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘…remembering that there’s a transfer fee for internet providers and that supporting a friendly, knowledgeable local gun store is worth a financial premium.’

    Supporting a friendly, knowledgeable local kitchen table dealer is also worth the $20 transfer fee.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I hope there’s room in this world for both – Retailers with inventory that I can inspect before buying, and FFLs who work out of their basement with little overhead and low prices. I try to patronize both.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        I’ve used the same FFL for a few years. Retired LEO. Always seems to take about an hour just because we sit around and chew the fat (with my carry permit there’s no NICS check). The only down side is when he quits all the 4473s go to the ATF. Used him for shipping handguns too.

        LGSs consist of a couple of low inventory stores. Non inventory items are strictly MSRP. There is a Sportsman’s Warehouse 25 miles away where I’ve bought a couple items (with cash). Bass Pro is another 5 miles down the road if you feel like paying for a herd of bison being chased by a pack of wolves across the ceiling.

    2. avatar HandyDan says:

      $20? Wish I had your LGS. Mine is $45, seems like it goes up every time I ask. There is a place where I can get it done for $25, but they are 45 minutes away and it comes out to a wash when I consider gas price and time cost.

      1. avatar Anon in CT says:

        I pay $30 in suburban CT, but if I’m doing multiple at a time my guy will usually give a break on price. Frankly I am happy to pay it – he’s taking time out of his schedule to meet with me at a convenient time and place, and even if the internet weren’t cheaper than my LGS (which it usually is), the transfer fee is more than offset by the lack of sales tax, not to mention timed and gasoline saved.

        Favorite Internet retailers are Grabagun.com, Impactguns.com and aimsurplus.com. Bud’s won’t sell most items to CT.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          My guy will ask for a short case of blue moon. Love home based FFL’s!
          Especially when he lets me keep an e-copy of his FFL when I get a feather up my rear and order something.
          That reminds me, going to go price check a Ruger 10/22 in .22 mag. Then I’ll have the trifecta.

      2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        I pay ten bucks flat. Would be fifteen for those without a carry license. Houstonfflstransfers.com. Transfers are their main business, although they do buy guns, too. I guess for sale online, as there are no sales display cases and absolutely no merchandise of any kind offered for sale onsite.

        No muss, no fuss. Simple storefront with nothing but a counter, two chairs, and a table where you fill out your 4473. Safes are in the back out of view. Email them to advise what’s coming, from where and when, plus your contact info. They email you when your gun arrives. You make an appointment, show up, pick up, and you’re done. In and out so fast, you can leave the car running.

  10. avatar Matt Richardson says:

    Please address all comments about TTAG’s stance and style to thetruthaboutguns@gmail.com, where they will be answered directly and promptly.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      What are you afraid of?

      1. If we allow meta comments in the comments section, the thread gets hijacked. Like this.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          But since this isn’t a forum it’s not the same problem. It’s one ‘sub-thread’ of a sort that can simply be bypassed without it ‘hijacking’ the conversations going on everywhere else.

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    From TFB:

    #1 – Jiggle gun safe handles, and when employees ask, ”Would you want to see inside?” say, “No.” – It’s horribly misleading and we promise we’re not hiding .22 ammo inside

    Yea, I strongly disagree with this. Of course I want to see inside the safe. I just don’t want a babysitter chauffeuring me around to every single gun safe so I can look inside them. If I have to put up with that crap – then the answer to their question about if I want to see inside will be “No.” And I’ll just look at safe at another location. Hope this sums it up for these people.

  12. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

    I highly recommend raising your bartering skill. Practice at flea markets and gun shows. Also, I recommend looking at how your dressed when bartering, because what you wear does say a lot about you. Think of it like in Fallout when you wear certain clothes, it raised your skill level. As funny as it may sound, this works in real life, and I’ve noticed it. If I wear a camo ball cap with the Dale Earnhardt 3 on it, people automatically assume I know what I’m talking about when I talk about cars. You can do the same with guns. Go into a gun store wearing kahki pants, a black polo, and some kind of authoritve looking ball cap, (military unit, gun brand ect..) and remember to always look people in the eye and speak with confidence, even if you have no freaking clue what you’re talking about. Perception > Reality.

    1. avatar IAB2 says:

      Dont forget the over priced Merrills, cargo pants, tactical fishing vest, and od ball cap with velco’d od flag.
      Nothing says douchebag like dressing like one…

  13. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “3. Pay full retail without asking for a discount”

    At a major chain on new, guns I don’t usually.

    At a mom-n-pop or pawn shop, If it’s used, I always ask if that’s their best price…

  14. avatar McCann says:

    How about “don’t harrass other customers with unsolicited advice.”

    1. avatar Katy says:

      With the caveat that, if the employee has steered them in totally the wrong direction, you intervene discreetly.

      Usually, this has to do with either ammo selection (yes, you can get HST in a 50 round box) or local ranges (no, Athena does not allow steel case ammo). I’ve never had a reason to say anything about the firearms themselves.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        I’ve taken a female customer aside when the clerk at Dunham’s told her the pink Sig mosquitoe was the best firearm for all women for self defense and ccw.

        1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

          do tell………

      2. avatar McCann says:

        Yeah, that’s reasonable. I was referring mostly to people who volunteer answers to questions that weren’t asked in order to impress other customers with their vast knowledge of topic x.

        (I’m referring to you, guy who interrupted my purchase to brag about being the “the eyes and ears of the insurance industry” and supply non-answers to questions I’d asked the salesman. Also you, guy who interrupted yet another purchase to tell me that M16s are 5.56 mm, as I stood there, five miles from base, wearing a shirt USMC shirt with a damn M4 on it.)

    2. avatar Timmy! says:

      Guilty! Well, in the past. Once I realized, “Timmy, you are being a douche!” I started to shut the hell up. I have lost some sense of taste due to biting my tongue when the urge to “help” rises nowadays. I still have trouble at gun shows sometimes though. Again, sorry.

    3. avatar Shocktastic says:

      This. This. A thousand times.

    4. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      While most people probably think about intervening when they overhear a gun store employee steering a woman into a small scandium frame .357 revolver because it’s small and lightweight and easy for the “little woman” to carry, there are other issues that beg intervening. Example, a store owner here in Michigan was overheard telling a customer that it was illegal to carry one in the chamber.

  15. avatar Wade says:

    Well as the guy behind the counter let me suggest this. Don’t bother lying, nothing I cannot stand more than one someone comes in and blows smoke. It never fails everyone is a Navy Seal, Marine Recon’ Sniper, and all of them shoot “1moa all day with a red dot and green tips.”

    Just be honest about what you want and what you would like to do. Don’t ask me a question you don’t want the answer to. Don’t ask me to insult 1911 or Glocks. Don’t ask me to agree that Scyy or Highpoint suck and are for idiots. After all a gun owner is a gun owner and if that is all the money they have, ok that is fine. I promise I won’t insult your choice of weapon or your lack of battle field experience. I will listen to you carefully and I will tell you what I know or look it up in front of you. Just be as honest and polite as you want me to be. I know there are some bad clerks out there, and it seems those of who are decent pay the price. I suppose it could be said of good customers too. I try to give everyone a fair chance, but man it drives me nuts when someone lies to me about something I have done all of my life.

  16. avatar BLAMMO says:

    … too busy schmoozing right-wing politics with longtime customers to acknowledge my presence, …

    Gun store rats. Like it’s Floyd’s Barber Shop. The single greatest reason first-time gun buyers are intimidated when they walk into a gun store. It seems like a club of which they’re not a member and not welcome. The looks. Many walk out never to set foot in a gun store again.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      This.

      And, it’s not just new shooters.

      I’ve been shooting, around guns and around shooters for a few number of decades, and *I* still ‘feel uncomfortable’ when I walk into a new-to-me shop with 3+ guys standing around the only clerk jawing and swapping lies.

      And when they all turn and look at “who entered our inner sanctum,” I pretty much want to dash out without even looking at anything at all.

      I imagine this is 10x or more worse for women and especially women new to shooting.

      I don’t go into gun shops to ‘hang out’ or ‘socialize.’ (I pretty much don’t go ANYWHERE to socialize…). I go in to look for something specific that I want to buy, or maybe SOMETIMES to see if there’s something in there I like that’s not on my “buying this soon” list.

      When it has that “closed club” atmosphere, I’m out. I experienced this just a few months ago at a Pawn and Gun Shop here I’d never been in, and the experience ticked off ALL the stereotypes. I even remarked to my family that “That place is more like a club than a gun store.”

      It’s closer to my home than some of the LGS’s I HAVE spent money at. I’ll continue to make the longer drive.

  17. avatar Alphonse says:

    #4 ask to hold a rifle, shoulder it, pull the trigger and break wind audibly while shaking the rifle to simulate full auto recoil.

  18. avatar Wrightl3 says:

    Don’t act like an idiot.

    1. avatar Wade says:

      So much this above my post.

      I swear man some guys just turn off their brains around guns and motorcycles.

      1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

        A lot of guys turn off there brains around something else that seems to make money fly away quick.

        1. avatar Wade says:

          Yeah it must be something about shooting and riding that just does not promote honesty and common sense.

          I suppose it makes sense. Because of the type of stuff we sell at our shop we get the mall ninja crowd, Call of Duty fanboys, mid life crises guys, and weekend commandos. If I had a dollar for every time I have put the M107 on the counter so someone could tell me “gosh that is bad@ss man!!”…… People associate manliness with guns. So when manliness is on the line egos tend to run wild. Never mind the fact it takes less muscle to pull the trigger.

  19. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    Good advice if you are selling a gun: Have an idea of what price you want to sell it for. Don’t ask the store owner what he thinks. Just because you consider him the expert (he’s most likely not, BTW) doesn’t mean it’s proper for them to tell you right off the bat what they will pay for something. Do some research on Gunbroker and the like.

    1. avatar Wade says:

      First and foremost let me say I am not an expert on every gun ever made. I may not know the intricacies of the particular model you have. So I do what any dealer worth his salt should do. I have a copy of the Bluebook of Gun Values. I have also had some training on how to grade weapons. As an aside I have three old crap .22 cal revolvers that no longer function. We keep them on a board. Each of them has different and distinctly obvious qualities that represents the different conditions. This stops fights before they can start. Keep in mind one key thing though. What kind of shop are you in? We specialize in class 2&3, personal defense, IDPA, USPA, 3gun, tactical, and high end hunting rifles. We don’t have any antiques hanging on the wall. Brining me your Colt .45 Colt Long revolver or Holland&Holland .410 is not going to bode as well for you as it might at some other shops. None of my competition shooters or weekend urban assault ninjas (my two biggest spenders) are willing to take time to appreciate or fork over the dough for such fine eirloom weapons. Transverse to that you will probably have better luck selling your JP Enterprises race gun or your H&K USP Tactical with Silencerco can at my shop.

  20. avatar The Pontificator says:

    You mean to tell me “Sharknado” isn’t real?

    I’m crushed. 🙁

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “You mean to tell me “Sharknado” isn’t real?”

      Oh, HELL NO!

      “I’m crushed. 🙁 ”

      Quite a few ‘bought it’ that way in ‘Sharknado’…

  21. avatar 'liljoe says:

    Don’t argue legal issues with the store owner, if he says he is not comfortable doing something, either go elsewhere or go elsewhere. I watched a customer argue with the owner for 30 minutes about buying a gun for someone else. He kept telling the man he wouldn’t sell him the gun now that he knows it’s for someone else and the guy kept arguing with him. (While 2 of the local police officer were standing to the side cracking up and schmoozing.)

    On a separate note, don’t offer unsolicited information when making a purchase 🙂

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The ATF tells FFL’s that the ATF will never, ever intervene or come down on a FFL for refusing to sell a gun.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      And the ‘unsolicited information’ includes your opinion on Obama or other Progressives.

      (Not your personal opinion, ‘liljoe, the other customers)

    3. avatar peirsonb says:

      Refusing to sell because it makes them uncomfortable would be a perfectly reasonable position that I wouldn’t argue.

      When the salesman says it’s ILLEGAL to buy a long gun with the intent to give as a gift in Michigan, THEN I have a problem.

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        When the salesman says it’s ILLEGAL to buy a long gun with the intent to give as a gift in Michigan, THEN I have a problem.

        That has happened–here in Michigan.

        1. avatar peirsonb says:

          Oh, I know. The salesman said it to me while I was holding an AR hinting to my wife how it would make a good Christmas gift.

  22. avatar CCDWGuy says:

    If you have to ask for assistance walk away. If you ask about a concealed carry gun and the first thing they pick up is a Smith &Wesson 642 walk away. And here is a true story. I was trying to purchase a left handed AR at a local gun store and they told me that I could not put optics on a left handed AR because the dust cover would interfere with the ejection and tried to sell me a right hand AR. I went to another dealer who basically told me the idiot at the other gun shop lied. I bought a stag left eject and gee it works fine with all the optics.

    1. avatar Wade says:

      You have got to be sh!tting me!! That is bazerk. I tell guys that the left hand gun is a great idea and if they are 100% sure they want it go for it. I also tell them to keep in mind that they may have a harder time selling the weapon in the future if they so choose. I never ever discourage them or tell them no. I think a lot to sales guys make the mistake of selling customers guns and gear that would suit the salesman’s needs. We don’t all shoot the same and don’t all have the same demands.

      Do yourself a favor customers use google and research your gun before hitting the shop. I like to search for complaints. You will always find some, but it pretty easy to sort out real experience from someone who is just being a parrot. It is important to know because as was mentioned earlier shops want to sell their inventory not Bud’s.

  23. avatar TruthTellers says:

    I’ve only been to one gun store that violated rule number 1. I figured it was just the guy on shift not being happy with his job until I went back a second time.

    Haven’t gone back since.

  24. avatar CameronB says:

    I admit i’m not much of a dickerer, I have local shop that i’ve done some bigger transactions with. I have tried to nickel and dime them on guns and on the flip side i don’t think i’ve paid sticker price for any of my ammo since then. The clerks will toss in a free box when i buy a gun and toss in a soft case if i buy used. he also recently gave me a great price on a trade in. they also don’t fuss about me bringing my toddler in (on my shoulders) when i’m pulling Mr. mom duty. my daughter now associates the gun store with the candy store since the clerks give her lollipops. That is how a business keeps my business.

  25. avatar Cameron S. says:

    My preferred gunstore is a 1-man show. He turned his garage into a tightly-packed storefront with enough standing room for 6-8 customers. He maintains a stock of 200+ firearms behind the counter, and lists his whole inventory on his website every day as it changes. His prices beat every other local store by $40-50, and he knows his stuff and is fully supportive of any decision. He doesn’t have any brand loyalty, and carries every last manufacturer he can get his hands on at any price point, and his inventory is never the same twice when i go in. He will match/beat any price from any other store in the great state of Maine. Allsport Performance in Hermon, for any interested Mainers.

  26. avatar BradT says:

    Rule 2 is one that my local store is bad about. Went in for a Glock 19 (to replace one that was stolen from me) only to have the salesman try to push me a 1911 in 38 Super. I explained that the 19 was my EDC, and seeing that I was very familiar with it already, I just wanted to pick that up. No matter what I said, or what my reasoning was, he kept on trying to get me to buy that damn pistol I obviously didn’t want.

  27. avatar Randy says:

    I have found some of our local gun shops seemed to have opened because they just like to collect guns. They exhibit no customer service skills and seem to only be interested in chatting it up with their friends that come in and just talk guns, if you are not one of those friends you are invisible. There are others that seem cranky if you want to compare a couple of guns, I understand they probably get dumb questions all day long but they are salesmen, and should act like they want to sell something. Where I live there is a lot of shops and places to buy guns, and a lot of people like me that probably have all the guns I need, so I don’t have to buy their gun, and they are not doing me a favor by being there so I expect good service and attitude when I am looking to make another purchase.

  28. avatar onezero says:

    As an employee of a big box store;
    1. I admit some of my coworkers don’t pay enough attention to customers, buy realize sometimes a) the person we’re with won’t shut up & leave & b) corporate headquarters sets staffing & most of the time we are understaffed.
    Do – know what you’re looking for. Saw this on TTAG, “Do your research before you get to the store.” Nothing we hate more than the comment, “I want to buy a gun today, but I don’t know what I want.
    Don’t – ask for a, small, light weight handgun that you can conceal carry, is cheap to shoot for plinking, that you can use for competition and kill a bear if need be. I have yet to see a universal gun.
    Don’t – ask to see a Desert Eagle, S&W .500 or Ruger Alaskan unless you want to buy one. They are on the bottom shelf, we are old guys & we are sick and tired of having to agree with you on how bad*ss it is, watch your buddy take your picture and then you just walk away.

    Sorry, I just used this to vent.

  29. avatar GuntotinDem says:

    So, I had a pretty crappy experience at my LGS which isn.t really local because you know “Chicago” (about an hour drive). I wanted a cheap hammered Double 12ga. Price and features were the only object. Because of finances I’d saved up 10 bucks a week to get it. Still I wasn’t going it buy it with out seeing one in person to check the fit and quality. The LGS had it on the website for 280 buy on line pick up at the store. I called em to see if the had one I could check out. They had just gotten one in on wed and I went in on sat to take a look.
    I checked it out and said “lets do this.” Then they came up with a price of 295. Wait your website says 280.

    “Well you didn’t buy it online, we have to cover inventory costs”

    If it wasn’t for the gas and time (24 hr wait and two trips each way ) I would have told them to shove it. I bought it. I like it. But i probably wont be back to that store.

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      Tell them what I told the last car dealer I bought from: I didn’t order it, you did that on your own. I’m not paying your stocking fee.

  30. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Rule #1: If you can’t decide between two guns, buy both of them.

    (You will be glad you did, a few years down the road.)

  31. avatar Shannon's Pimp says:

    I was in a LGS around 2011, when the owner wanted me to fill out a 4473 after I asked him to show me a Beretta Cheetah pistol. I told him that I wanted to look at it and get a feel for the grip, as I was just in the initial stages of considering a purchase. He asked me to leave as I was wasting his time. Haven’t been back there since. Apparently this jackass makes a lot of sales by pressuring 1st time gun buyers. It was’t my first time, so I guess that he felt threatened by a POTG/intelligensia type. Sometimes the LGS proprietors do it to themselves.

  32. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    I use my LGS for 2 things. Transferring new guns to me and my old guns to someone else. Having said that, there is not enuff money in all the world to pay me to work at a LGS and put up with the booger picking public.

  33. avatar Jorgi says:

    Don’t sell guns out from under customers. Wanted to get a Shield in 9mm for my girlfriend, found it at a shop that I had never been to before. The owner seemed nice enough, and after fondling the gun I told him very enthusiastically that I would be back the next day after I got paid with the girlfriend to do paperwork. Got there the next day and he tells me he’s sorry, but he just sold it a couple hours ago. I lamented that I didn’t have cash on hand to put a down payment on it the day before. It was then the owner decided to inform me I could have reserved it with just a signature. Oh really? Couldn’t have told me yesterday? It’s fine. I went to my regular LGS and ordered it through them.

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